Sixers preparing to face Pelicans opening night, itching to get started

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The Philadelphia 76ers have wrapped up the preseason and take on the New Orleans Pelicans on the road on Wednesday. This will be another season in which the Sixers will chase the championship they desperately crave.

It also gives the Sixers a chance to take on an opponent other than themselves. They have been battling each other in practice for an extended period. While the preseason games were refreshing, they do not offer the same intensity as a regular-season game.

As they returned to work on Monday, they began preparing for the Pelicans, which excited the players a bit.

“Just focusing on the little things,” said Georges Niang. “Whether that’s getting back in transition, how to defend certain actions that New Orleans is gonna run, and fine-tuning some things going forward so we can get off to a good start to start the year.”

On top of getting ready to watch film on the Pelicans and begin getting that itch to play in real games again, it also gives the Sixers some excitement about not having to battle against their own big men anymore. Andre Drummond and Joel Embiid are giving out some bone-crushing screens to the guards.

“Man, let’s do it!” exclaimed Tyrese Maxey. “Extremely excited. I’m ready to play against somebody else. I’m tired of Andre Drummond screening me and Joel screening me.”

Maxey and the Sixers are hoping to build off the success in the 2020-21 regular season. With Niang and Drummond joining the roster, they are ready to help this team win.

“I think we’re in a great place,” said Niang. “Everybody has a good positive outlook on how they think the season is gonna go. Obviously, preseason doesn’t mean much, we had some injuries, but we have a lot of guys coming back on this team. A lot of core guys and I think that’s important.”

For Philadelphia to have the desired success, they need to nail down the little things. That is what the coaching staff is focused on at the moment.

“The coaching staff has really been talking about playing right, playing the right way offensively and defensively,” Maxey said. “Being in the right spots, knowing what to do, when to gap, when to chase, when to get into the ball, when to go over the screens, when to go under, and then offensively, just moving the ball, being in the right spots, knowing plays, knowing when to execute down the stretch.”

The team’s growing chemistry and their second season under coach Doc Rivers will do some good things for this team. Combine the growth of Maxey and Isaiah Joe with the new additions, and the mix creates a feeling of excitement.

“I think overall, not much changes with this team,” Niang finished. “We have two new guys that are coming in, but I think you can expect a lot of winning and that’s what all of us are expecting.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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